No Half Measures
by Jenny Walker
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Editor's Note: Jenny Walker has graciously allowed me to represent her original story No Half Measures on BigCloset. Originally published on BigCloset Classic, this story segment was migrated over to BigCloset TopShelf on 2005-03-02. Due to the original story presentation format being unsuitable and unwieldy for most portable devices (each part being over 1 meg in length), the story is now being broken up into single chapters for easier reading. The original Movements will be indicated on their respective chapters. The first chapter of each Movement will retain the original comments and read hits so as to preserve them for the author.
On Thursday morning I dressed simply in a blue blouse and jeans and minimal make up. I was due at Dr. Carson's at 9:30 a.m. and was feeling rather nervous. Jools noticed this and tried to ask me why I was so uptight. I evaded her question and said that doctors always made me nervous. This was a half truth. The other half was the decision that was weighing on my mind which I knew I would probably have to face soon after today. Although at that time, I wasn't to know just how soon that would actually be. Jools wanted to come with me, but I was adamant that I was going by myself as I didn't want to face the immediate barrage of questions after my appointment. She seemed a little miffed, but I wasn't backing down. I explained to her that I had to learn to do things myself without always having support. She didn't seem convinced, but let it rest at that.
After a short but busy rush hour tube ride, I arrived at the Harley Street consulting rooms and gave my name to the receptionist. After about twenty minutes, Dr. Carson came out and called me in.
"Hello Cara," she smiled warmly, "how are you my dear?"
I nodded and grinned, "Not too bad thanks."
"Did you have a nice Christmas?" she asked and she must have seen the expression on my face as she continued, "Oh I take it you talked to your family then?"
I nodded, "Yes. I couldn't say it was the merriest of Christmases I've ever enjoyed."
"Want to tell me about it?"
It's quite strange, but there are certain situations where it is far easier to tell total strangers things you can't tell your closest friends. I felt able to tell Dr. Carson all about what had happened and about the difficult reactions I had got from my family. I didn't go into everything, but gave her a fairly full account. I didn't tell her about my silliness with Phil, or about procuring my new I.D. She nodded and listened well, making little encouraging comments all the while. When I was done she sat back and looked ponderous for a moment.
"So Cara tell me, have you any doubts about what you are doing?"
I hesitated. I wasn't sure what the expected right answer was so I decided to go with the truth. "Yes. Yes I do. I don't really think I've made a mistake, but there are times when I wonder what I am doing. I don't know if that's just to be expected or whether it means I'm doing the wrong thing."
She shook her head, "It means you are human and you have insight into your situation. If you had said that you had no doubts I would be concerned that you weren't fully appreciating the gravity of what you are doing and weren't giving it the proper consideration that you should be."
"That makes sense I guess. To be honest it's not the physical side of things that troubles me, I actually really like the changes I'm going through. I like how I look and I like being attractive. It's the emotional side that I find more difficult."
She nodded, "It is to be expected. You've lived most of your life according to what is expected of a young man. To suddenly have this turned on its head and have to react and live out what is expected from a young woman is a challenge."
"You can say that again."
She hesitated before continuing, "Now the next question is a little personal, but I think I should ask it as part of the assessment of your adjustment. Tell me, how are your feelings about your orientation, I mean sexually?"
"Uhh..." I said meaningfully.
She smiled encouragingly, "Tell me about your attractions."
"Well," I began slowly, "I guess this hasn't really been a large part of my life recently what with all the other things going on with my family and all. I'm really not sure how I feel to be honest. I know that for all intents and purposes, I'm living as a woman, but I don't think I can say that I'm particularly attracted to men and am looking for a boyfriend or anything." I tried to lighten it with a bit of humour.
She laughed, "OK, but I want you to be able to talk to me about this again. This is a difficult area and you will need to address it at some stage. You are an attractive woman and men will be attracted to you and you need to know how to react. And what you want to do with such attention."
I nodded, "I know."
"Anyway, why don't I take a look at how you've been getting on? Do you want to pop behind the curtain and slip into the gown again and I'll be with you in a jiffy?"
I did as requested and Dr. Carson came round the curtain. "Cara, may I take a look at your breasts?"
I nodded and lowered the gown. She raised her eyebrows, "Well now. Things have been busy here. I think from now on we should put you onto a lower hormone dose, a maintenance dose." She measured me and gently palpated my growing breast tissue. She then took a look down below as before. I had to admit to her that there was nothing much happening down there recently.
"How does that make you feel Cara?"
I shrugged and wrinkled my brow, "I dunno. I guess I haven't really been thinking about it. It is sort of strange, and I guess I do well miss some of the....functions. But overall, it's sort of something I expected would happen."
She nodded, "It would be in keeping with the results of your hormone profile that I got. You had a low level of androgens and borderline low testosterone level which would explain why your body has responded so rapidly to the oestrogens. Right, all done here, you can get dressed again and come on out."
I did so and took my seat again before her desk. She sat back and regarded me thoughtfully. "Cara, the last time we talked, you mentioned that you were keen to have your own breasts. Is that still how you feel?"
I swallowed and felt my heart lurch but I nodded and forced myself to reply, "Yes. That's right. It is how I feel. The breast forms are hurting me now as they compress my breasts."
She looked a little curious, "Why not stop wearing them? Let your breasts grow naturally?"
I paused for a moment but then figured I needed to explain a few more things. "Dr. Carson, I guess I should tell you a little bit more about what is going on in my life..."
I explained to her about the record deal and the need for secrecy and privacy. I explained how that as people had seen me with my 'full bosom' as I described it, that it would appear strange to suddenly downsize. That was my problem. She nodded, and chewed the end of her pen thoughtfully, "I see." She looked thoughtful for a moment or two, "There is a solution. Now I wouldn't normally recommend this so soon in your transition, but it would be possible."
"Yes?" I asked expectantly. I sort of thought I knew what she was going to say. Part of me hoped I was right, but in a strange way, another part hoped I was wrong.
"You have had enough development now to consider moving straight ahead with breast augmentation surgery. You have enough natural breast tissue for implants to provide you with the breast size you have with your breast forms. What do you think about that?"
There it was. The cruncher. Although I knew in my heart that there really was little chance of going back on what I had already come through, even had I wanted to, this step though seemed to be a definite irrevocable one. Surgery. It seemed so permanent. So final. I knew it wasn't really. What is done, could also be undone. Yet despite all these feelings, I knew what I wanted to do. My throat felt dry and I croaked, "Yes. That's what I want."
"Are you sure?" she asked.
I shrugged, "As sure as I can be."
She nodded thoughtfully, "Alright. Now there are two surgeons I'd consider. Both are absolutely excellent. Their work is impeccable and they are used to dealing with private high-profile cases. The first one I think I mentioned last time does an operating list once a month in a private clinic in Belgium. Would you like me to ring his secretary and see what his schedule is like?"
I swallowed and nodded. She smiled back at me and then lifted her phone and dialled a number.
"Hello, this is Dr. Janice Carson of Harley Street. I was wondering when Mr. Bridges' next available slot for surgery might be on his Belgium list?"
A pause as she listened, "Oh, right. Nothing sooner? I see. Thank you."
She grimaced, "His next list is next week and is full, and next month's is cancelled as he is on holidays so it would be 9 weeks at the soonest."
I nodded, "You mentioned another surgeon?"
"Yes. Mr. Stretton. Although he is considerably more expensive. He does a private list in Switzerland from time to time. But it really is a costly procedure." She looked at me and raised an eyebrow.
I sighed and shrugged, "Money's not really a problem to be honest. Well depending on exactly how much."
She smiled, "Let me see what possibilities there are." She dialled another number, "Hello, Dr. Janice Carson of Harley Street. I have a private patient who needs discreet surgery, when would Mr. Stretton's next available list be?" A pause, "Oh really? Any availability?" Another pause, "Well if he is there, sure I'd like to talk to him." She put her hand over the mouthpiece and spoke to me, "He's leaving for Geneva tomorrow and is operating this weekend." Then someone came on the line as she uncovered the mouthpiece, "Hello Geoff, it's Janice here. It's been a long time. Listen, I've a private patient who needs some discreet surgery..."
I didn't hear much of the rest of the exchange. My mind was reeling. This weekend? Was I ready for this? I rationalised that I probably would never feel totally ready for it. Perhaps if an opportunity presented itself sooner rather than later it would be better as it would give less time for doubt and introspection.
"Cara," Dr. Carson called me back to reality. Her hand was again over the mouthpiece, "Geoff, Mr. Stretton could probably fit you in this weekend. His next private list is not for three months. But it will be costly. Around twenty thousand pounds for surgical and nursing care. That's probably too much isn't it?"
I thought quickly. I had the money. I wanted to do this. I decided to leap right in both feet first, "Err no, that's OK. I'm interested." Her eyebrows rose again but she shrugged and uncovered the mouthpiece, "Geoff, my patient is very interested." She proceeded to take details down over the phone and jotted them on a pad. I was to try to get flights to Geneva either tomorrow or Saturday. I was given the address of the private clinic. Mr. Stretton would see me on Saturday and assuming no contra-indications, surgery would be scheduled for Sunday. I would remain in the clinic until Thursday when he would be flying back in to do a final post op check and all being well discharge me. My head was spinning and it hardly seemed real. I made myself focus as there was something that had come into my mind.
"Umm, does he know about me? I mean you know about me not really being a woman?"
Dr. Carson shook her head, "I didn't tell him. It doesn't make any difference for the surgery. You look like a young woman who wants breast augmentation. You can tell him if you want."
I thought for a moment, "Actually, I think all things considered it would be for the best if I could just be that young woman who wants the surgery. I know this clinic is discreet but if things ever did get out, it would be better that no-one knew the real truth."
She nodded, "I can understand that."
I sighed, "But there is a problem. I'm going to be under anaesthetic and I'm sure my 'secret' down below would be noticed at some time. So I guess there is not much I can do about that."
Dr. Carson nodded sympathetically, "That is a problem. But I think we might be able to do something about that."
I raised an eyebrow, "How?"
It seemed that I wasn't the first of my type of patient who had similar wishes for absolute secrecy and privacy and Dr. Carson had a contact who made customised chastity devices. Although this was usually some form of S&M or fetish wear, it could also serve the purpose that I needed: to hide and protect my 'secret'. I did raise the protest that wouldn't the clinic staff find it strange. But Dr. Carson assured me that with the sort of patient who would be at the clinic, that is the extreme rich, nothing is too surprising. She said I could simply say I wanted to protect my dignity even under anaesthetic. However we were working to a tight schedule. She got on the phone again. It seemed that there may be a possibility to meet my deadline, but of course it would result in a premium price. She got off the phone.
"Cara, here is the address," she handed me a piece of paper, "Now don't worry, this is not seedy. Vic and Sue look on this as a family business, strange as that may sound. But you are going to have to head round there straight away if you want to have a chance of getting this sorted out."
I swallowed nervously and nodded, "OK. I guess."
She smiled, "You'll be fine. And listen, I want to see you in here the week after you get back from Geneva, you hear me?"
I grinned, "Sure thing."
As I left, I felt as if I was in a daze. Things seemed to be moving faster and faster and although I had to admit to being frightened, there also was a certain anticipation and excitement to it all. But I wasn't really relishing the prospect of my next call.
Vic and Sue Greenwood worked out of their own house in the east end of London. I found it easily enough and plucked up the courage to ring the bell. A young woman answered.
"Hello, Sue?" I said tentatively.
"You must be Nicola," she said with a warm smile. I had told Dr. Carson not to give the name Cara Malone to them.
"Come on in."
I went in and met her husband Vic. They both seemed very normal and down to earth. I wasn't sure what I had been expecting. They offered me a cup of coffee and as we sat and drank, I felt more at ease. They talked about what I needed. With some embarrassment I told them that I needed a chastity device that looked like a female device, but could hold a male's 'equipment'. They seemed very surprised and I had to confirm that that was indeed what I needed. This caused them a dilemma. They worked as a team and Vic would usually do the measurements for the men and Sue for the women. Sue gave me the choice of who I would be more comfortable with. I don't know why, but it seemed more appropriate for it to be Sue. And so it was that she took me into another room and performed rather intimate measurements. As I was going to need this like the next morning, they would have to work all day and a fair part of the night on it. They apologised for the price they were going to have to charge as a result. It was going to cost fifteen hundred pounds. What could I do but accept?
Later Jools was full of questions about how things had gone with Dr. Carson. I had already decided that I was not going to tell her what I was doing. I just felt this was something I had to do and work through myself. But I did owe my sister a phone call as I had promised her I would talk to her before doing anything like this. I fobbed Jools off with general comments, and told her I was now on a low dose maintenance oestrogen. I told her Dr. Carson was happy with my progress and left it at that.
"I was thinking of taking a little holiday break?"
"Well, this weekend for about a week."
"Wow, what's got into you?"
I shrugged, "I dunno, I think I just need some time to myself. To relax and recharge a bit. Things have been quite stressful recently."
She nodded, "I guess they have. Where were you thinking of?"
I shrugged, "I've always fancied going to Switzerland. Geneva sounds like a nice place."
Jools frowned, "Won't it be fairly wintry and cold at this time of year?"
I nodded, "Yeah, but there's something nice about the snow, the cold, fresh air and all that."
"I suppose. Look, I'm not too busy, to be honest, I wouldn't mind a little break."
"Jools, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I think I could really do with some time to myself."
She looked a little taken aback, "Err OK. And you're happy about you know, travelling as Cara?"
I shrugged, "I've got a valid passport, I don't see any problems, do you?"
She shook her head, "I suppose not. Are you sure you are OK?"
"I'm fine, I just need a break and then I'll be able to get right back into the song writing. The time might help me get some more inspiration." Yeah right.
She seemed to accept this, albeit reluctantly. Next I phoned Jon and let him know I'd be away for a week and would give him a shout when I got back. He accepted it at face value and didn't seem too fussed.
"Hi...Nicola? Wow, two phone calls in one week, this is most unprecedented."
I chuckled, "Yes, I guess it is..."
"So what can I do for you?"
I paused, "Err Claire. You remember when we were talking at Christmas?"
"Ye-es. But you are going to have to be a bit more specific; we talked about a lot of things."
"Well you remember when you said I was to phone you before doing anything...radical?"
"Yes...wait, what's going on Nicola?"
I explained what my plans were and she seemed quite surprised. When she recovered from the initial shock, she was quite determined about one thing.
"I'm coming with you."
"Claire, it's OK, you don't have to do that."
"Look, do you think I'm going to let you head off to Switzerland, go through surgery and all it entails by yourself? Get real sister, I am coming with you."
"But what about your work, I mean I'm planning to fly out Saturday morning?"
"I'll sort it out, they will have to manage. I am coming with you."
I sighed, "OK Claire, you don't have to do this though."
"I do, of course I do. I said I'd be there for you and I will."
I paused. In a sense I felt glad and relieved. "Thanks Claire."
And so it was that I booked two British Airways flights from Heathrow to Geneva leaving Saturday morning with an open-ended return.
On Friday morning, I returned to Vic and Sue's house. They had worked halfway through the night and I felt bad. I apologised but they laughed and told me not to as I was paying for their lack of sleep. Sue again took me into the other room and I stripped down again. She brought out the device. It was made of a grey plastic-acrylic composite. There was a little small tube for my manhood to go into and she assured me that I would still be able to perform all necessary bodily functions. She gently fitted it onto me and clicked the waistband into place. It felt strange, but not uncomfortable. She checked it out from all sides and seemed satisfied. She told me that normally they would advise a customer to wear it for 24 hours and then to return for a check up, but I had told her that wouldn't be possible.
She gave me three keys and showed me how the locking mechanism worked. She assured me that it was quite secure. Although it wasn't metal, it could not be cut off without professional tools and risk of personal injury. In the event that I did lose the three keys, they kept spare master keys. I was very impressed with their workmanship and told them so. When I pulled my panties up, there was absolutely no bulge and my appearance was completely feminine. I gave them their hard-earned cheque and thanked them. They thanked me for giving them a challenging new design to prepare. Before I left, I had to ask about personal privacy and they assured me that their whole business was built on discretion and that I had nothing to worry about. I was a little perturbed that two more people potentially could reveal the truth, but I tried to put this out of my mind.
The rest of the day was spent with me getting packed and ready for my trip. We were flying out very early the next morning. Claire was going to stay with a friend nearby and get a taxi to swing by and pick me up the next morning to take us to the airport.
"Morning," Claire yawned at me as I got into the taxi.
"Hi. Early start isn't it?"
"Far too early. Please tell me you haven't been out for a run at this ungodly hour?"
I laughed, "No, too early even for the new me."
"Good," she paused, "So are you sure about this?" She looked at me with concern in her eyes.
I shrugged, "I guess. As sure as I ever will be. I'm not going to pretend I don't have some doubts and I'm not saying I'm not just a little bit scared. But this is what I want."
She nodded, "As long as you have thought this through."
"I have. It makes sense and I do want to go through with this." I paused and turned to look at her, "It means a lot to me that you dropped everything to come with me. I mean, I didn't expect it."
She grinned and squeezed my arm, "As I said, there is no way on this earth I'd even dream of letting you do this on your own."
"Were you able to get the time off work OK?"
She shrugged, "It wasn't easy, the boss grumbled a bit, but I said my sister was being taken into hospital and I had to be with her. What could he say?" She grinned, "Anyway, if I wasn't able to get away, I was going to send Mum in my place."
I'm sure I went white and looked at her sharply, "Uhh what?"
She laughed, "Had you there. That would have been a shock to you, wouldn't it? But on that theme, don't you think you should tell Mum and Dad. I mean, after all that has happened, don't you think it is better overall to keep them in the loop?"
I nodded, "Absolutely."
"So you are going to tell them what you are doing?"
"I am going to tell them what I have done, once it is over."
"You think that is best?"
I sighed, "I don't know, but I know that I can't face the inquisition and questions right now. I'm nervous enough and I've made my mind up. I will tell them when we get back." I rubbed my eyes, "Can't say I'm looking forward to the prospect. How do you think they'll react?"
Claire gave me one of her looks, "I think they'll flip again."
I grimaced, "Yes, I think they will too." I exhaled slowly, "This is difficult."
She was silent for a minute, and then spoke softly, "It is. I don't think it can be any other way, and being honest, I think it will continue to be difficult. They haven't really accepted this all. It is more resigned reluctance on their part, but I think this will bring it all to the fore again. I don't mean to make things harder for you, but I just want to check you have thought it through."
I nodded and gave her a wan smile, "I know. I'm really grateful for you being with me. I know that you have found it hard to accept too, but I really appreciate the efforts you are making."
She shrugged, "It's your decision. I have to accept it and I may have lost a brother, but I don't want to lose a sister also."
The check in at the airport was uneventful. I did have a brief moment of irrational fear at passport control, but it was unwarranted. I was exactly as my passport indicated: a young woman. The flight took an hour and a half and I tried to doze but my mind was too active. Claire didn't have any such problem and went into a coma as soon as the plane was airborne. We passed through customs and passport control in Geneva International airport without incident and hailed a taxi cab outside after collecting our baggage. I let Claire do the talking as she was more fluent in French than I was. It wouldn't have been hard.
"Bonjour Monsieur. Clinique médicale privée de Genève, s'il vous plait," Claire said which impressed me no end.
The taxi driver shrugged his shoulders, "Savez-vous où c'est?"
I was lost and hoped that Claire was following this. She was. She checked the address on the card I had and replied, "Oui. Rue de Vidollet."
"Ah bien sûr," the taxi driver clicked his fingers and moved the car into gear.
I nudged Claire, "Good to see you're making yourself useful. She poked me in the ribs in response and surreptitiously stuck her tongue out at me. The clinic was in an upscale neighbourhood. It was a modern yet tasteful two storey building. I felt nauseated as we walked up to the entrance. The doors slid apart and we walked in. The lobby was so plush that one could have been forgiven for mistaking it for a luxury hotel. The thought entered my mind that not many luxury hotels would cost as much for a five or six night stay as this one would. The receptionist smiled as we approached the desk, "Bonjour madames, comment est-ce que je peux vous aider?"
I smiled helplessly and looked at Claire, she murmured to me, "Oh come on, even you can do this one?"
I looked at her blankly. She just smiled and turned to the receptionist, "Parlez-vous anglais?" I grinned, I understood now.
The receptionist nodded and in near accent less English replied, "But of course madame. How can I help you?" Claire turned to me and indicated for me to reply.
I smiled nervously, "Umm hello. My name is Cara Malone. I'm booked in to see Mr. Stretton."
The receptionist tapped on the keyboard on front of her and looked at her monitor, "Ah yes Miss Malone. You have been allocated Room 106. Just let me call a nurse for you and she will show you where that is and get you checked in."
I thanked her. I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't actually a hotel. I was almost looking for the bell boy to take my luggage up for me. It wasn't long before a young dark haired nurse came along, "Bonjour, êtes-vous Cara Malone?"
The receptionist called out, "En anglais Marie."
The nurse smiled apologetically, "Sorry. Cara Malone?"
I stood up and nodded, "Yes that's me."
"Pleased to meet you, I'm Marie and I will be your primary nurse during your stay with us. Please follow me and I will take you to your room."
I followed her up and when I saw my room, it was reminiscent of a hotel room. Except for the hospital bed that is. Apart from that, it was nicely carpeted, it had a tea and coffee maker, television and ensuite bathroom. Marie took down my details and asked about any medical problems I had or any medications I was on. I didn't have much to tell her. She checked my pulse, temperature and blood pressure. Then she took a blood sample and separated it into a few different bottles. She explained that these were routine preoperative blood tests. She left Claire and I alone and said that Mr. Stretton would be along shortly. As advised by Marie, I changed into a nightdress.
I couldn't relax and found myself pacing up and down the room. Claire found this to be a mixture of amusing and irritating, but I couldn't help it. It was different from a hotel though: you didn't have to ring for room service here, it just arrived itself. Two trays were brought in for Claire and me. A light salad and bowl of soup with yoghurts and orange juice. Very healthy. I ate very little of it. Unlike Claire who didn't have any appetite problems. It was about three p.m. when a tall dark haired man with a trim moustache knocked lightly on the door before walking in. He was dressed in surgical scrubs. Marie followed him in.
"Hello, I'm Digby Stretton," he smiled at me and in his crisp upper class accent continued, "You must be Cara Malone." He shook my hand, "And this is?" He turned to Claire.
I realised a potential for confusion here and didn't want to explain the whole Malone/Evans thing. "Umm this is my sister Claire," I left it at that. He shook her hand and then asked her if she wouldn't mind leaving us for a few moments. Claire did as she was asked.
"Now Miss Malone I believe you are here for breast augmentation surgery, no?"
I swallowed and nodded, "That's right."
He smiled, "Well let me put you at ease. You have come to the right place. It's not a matter of boasting, but to give you confidence let me assure you that I count myself as a leading expert in this cosmetic field. I perform more of these operations each year than almost anyone in Europe and I pride myself on performing surgery that is unnoticeable within a month post op. Does that make you feel better? You look very tense my dear."
I smiled and nodded, "Yes thanks." He had a smooth bedside manner which was obviously practiced and polished. But it did have the desired effect.
"Now Miss Malone, may I examine you?" I nodded and smiled nervously. Marie squeezed my hand and helped me cover my lower half with a sheet as I lifted up my nightdress. I felt very embarrassed. Although I was still adjusting to my new self, at that point I was very much a woman. And being examined by a man was disconcerting. I was glad Marie was there. He gently examined my breasts. There was nothing improper about it, it was clinical and professional, but I was still glad to lower my nightdress when he was finished.
"Now Miss Malone, I see from Dr. Carson's referral that you are wanting D cup breasts is that right?"
I flushed and nodded, "Err yes."
"Don't be embarrassed my dear. There's nothing to be ashamed of. I can guarantee you that you will be most satisfied with the outcome. I can guarantee you that you will have the breasts that you desire." He winked, "Although there is one thing I won't be able to do."
I raised an eyebrow, "What's that?"
He smiled, "I won't be able to make you any more beautiful."
I laughed and felt myself flush again. Marie tutted lightheartedly, "Monsieur Stretton!"
He shrugged his shoulders, "Merely speaking the truth my dears, nothing more, nothing less." He went on to explain the basic details of the surgery, possible complications and the post operative care. I nodded at several points but had difficulty taking all of it in. Marie produced a consent form. Mr. Stretton signed it first to indicate that he had explained the procedure to me. He then asked me if I had any questions. I didn't. I took the form and signed my name, Cara Malone, in the required space. I was going to be the first case on the morning list the next day. He breezed out with Marie in his wake and although I did feel more at ease, as time moved on bringing me closer to surgery, I felt more nervous tension building up. Claire stayed with me all afternoon and evening. After she had left to head for her nearby hotel, I felt suddenly alone and vulnerable. Marie had gone off shift and the night nurse was called Antoinette. She was older and more matron-like, but not unfriendly. I didn't think I would sleep too well so I gratefully accepted the offer of a night sedative. It worked well.
I wasn't offered any breakfast the next morning as I was fasting for surgery. I didn't miss it as my stomach was doing somersaults. I had changed into my theatre gown. It really is impossible to protect your dignity in those things. I was glad of my 'covering' down below and the key was safely tucked away in a pocket inside my suitcase. Let them think what they wanted about it, I didn't care. At eight o'clock, I was wheeled down to the theatre suite. A middle-aged balding man in scrubs introduced himself to me, "Hello Miss Malone, I am Dr. Bob Fitzgerald and I will be your anaesthetist. It's my job to make sure you have a nice sleep while Digby works his magic on you. Now let me slip an IV cannula into your arm." He put a tourniquet on my arm and tapped on a vein on the front of my elbow joint. "A little scratch now," he warned as he slipped a needle in. The pain was only momentary and then it was done. He taped the cannula into place. He drew up a syringe of white liquid and brought it over.
"What's that?" I asked nervously.
He smiled kindly, "It's a drug called Propofol, otherwise known as magic milk. As I inject this, you count to ten with me and I guarantee you will be doing well to get past 6 or 7."
I didn't think that anything short of a hammer to the head would put me out as my heart thumped against the inside of my ribs. He placed the syringe into the injection port of the cannula, "Now count with me." He began to inject.
I counted with him, "One...two...three...four...five..."
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